It’s no surprise Noa Epstein worries about the safety of her husband, a reservist in the Israeli army called to duty as war smolders in the Gaza Strip. But, still carrying memories of a transformative summer camp experience nearly two decades ago, she knows there is another side to the conflict, and she is filled with concern for the Palestinians too.
As rockets fly, troops battle and casualties mount in Gaza, teens from both sides of the border are heading to Otisfield, Maine, for Seeds of Peace, a camp now in its 22nd year of fostering dialogue among its participants. Even years later, campers like Epstein say they feel the impact of their experience gently nudging them to consider their words, to have compassion and always, always to aim for peace.
I just read this article and I must say that camps like this are an excellent idea. I would also think that other similar initiatives would be good too. Peace will never reign in the Middle East so long as hatred is king.
That said, I have said in the past that I believe the New Evangelization is essential to peace throughout the world. I definitely still believe this to be the case but I am wondering if conversion to Catholicism is absolutely necessary for peace. After all, if we can eliminate hatred and encourage empathy then wouldn’t that do a lot to bring about peace?
Don’t get me wrong, I strongly desire the conversion of all people to the Catholic Church but I thought of this because of people who would refuse to convert to Catholicism. Would it be necessary for the vast majority of people to convert for there to be peace or would simply eliminating hatred and fostering empathy be enough? What do you think?